A Second Chance
Read alsoYesterday Road
In this “coming-of-old-age” tale, Jack Peckham finds himself on a journey into his distant past, helped along the way by Joe Easterday, a young man with Down syndrome, and Ida Pevely, a middle-aged waitress with her own mountain of regrets. Jack has a hundred grand in cash that he can’t explain, since he can’t remember yesterday much less forty…
Ravenna Morgan removed her robe and entered the quiet pool, naked; wearing only a dangling, gold Celtic cross she had worn since she was young. She swam with ease in the hotel's private lap pool, enjoying her daily, early morning swim.
Water glided over her body as she dipped her hands in front of her, crossing the pool with measured, elegant strokes. Her long red hair floated behind her. The soothing water massaged her athletic body and caressed her curves as she left gentle ripples in her wake.
She knew she could swim here, just outside her modest apartment, and not be disturbed. It was one of the few perks she truly enjoyed as resident manager of the Hotel Petros.
There was another pool for hotel guests in the front of the building. From there you could see for miles past the turquoise blue waters of the Aegean Sea. While it featured the most spectacular, panoramic views of the island and the waters beyond, her pool featured tree shrouded privacy. She treasured her privacy.
On the tiny island there was no airport, no television, no cell phone service, no radio signals, and limited internet service. But the hotel offered plenty of peace and quiet high atop the hill and it was the quiet, laid back atmosphere that Ravenna loved.
When she finished her swim and toweled off, she showered, then dressed for a day in town. She pulled on her loose fitting Levi’s cutoffs, slipped on her handmade leather sandals and tossed on an old Greek peasant blouse, which was cut low to reveal her ample female charms.
The tall striking beauty, with her emerald green eyes, youthful figure and morning glory smile, felt right at home on this slow paced island paradise. At age forty-four she could have passed for someone ten years younger. She was easy to pick out in a crowd and stood in stark contrast to the dark-haired island older resident women who always dressed in black. Her beauty even rivaled the younger female residents who with their flashing eyes, dark hair and mysterious good looks were some of the most beautiful women on earth.
Ravenna grabbed a flower from a pink trailing vine near the hotel’s swinging deep blue entrance gates. She pinned the blossom behind her ear and took in a deep breath of fresh air.
She was always in awe of the view from her hilltop hotel. Far in the distance she could see the nearest islands, an hour away by fishing boat. She noticed the bustling village below and the shallow, light blue water that surrounded the island. From her hillside perch she gazed further out to sea at the calming azure Aegean water made noticeable by the dark blue shades as the water became deeper. It
The road down to the village of Thios was partially paved with irregular peanut sized rocks. The loose stones kicked out from under her sandals, sending them bouncing in front of her. She watched them roll down the dusty road.
She passed row upon row of brightly colored flowers, hanging from vines everywhere. Their colors harmonized with the colors of the rainbow. She sniffed the blooms of her favorite flowers including the lemon yellow claritis, dark purple bougainvilleas and the magnificently flavored hot pink passion flowers.
She glanced around at the beautiful vistas and thought to herself, I love it here. She smiled. Maybe today would be a good day after all. Her thoughts drifted back to her childhood in Saint Louis and the many friends she had left behind her so many years ago. She smiled as the thoughts caught her imagination and filled her with wonder. I wonder what happened to them? She walked towards the village, lost in her own thoughts, but soon her past would come rushing back to her and quicker than she ever would have imagined.